BY Ryan McDougall | March 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

rehearsal for sign of contradiction the passion story

Glasgow Archdiocese’s Lentfest play tells Passion story in a new way

The head of Glasgow’s Lent festival has called for Catholics to support their Faith through art as the annual event gears up to present its showcase play

Sign of Contradiction: The Passion Story, is a project of the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project (AGAP), and will be staged as this year’s Lentfest nears its conclusion.

So far, Lentfest has this year hosted a variety of events and the new play will act as a finale for the festival.

The play follows on from AGAP’s Sign of Contradiction: The Christmas Story, which became a hit last winter, and playwright Stephen Callaghan believes AGAP’s unique take on the Crucifixion could be just as successful.

“It’s the story of the events that led up to the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, as well as the events following,” he said.

Story of Jesus

“But it tells the story differently to other plays about the Passion.”

Mr Callaghan said he hopes people will see parallels in the play with the political world today, with comparisons drawn between political corruption now and in Jesus’ time.

“Another reason I’m doing this is because when I started AGAP you could always assume that people knew the story of Jesus, but I’m not convinced that’s the case anymore,” he continued.

“Many people haven’t read or heard the story or might have forgotten it. And it’s a story which still shocks and provokes. This is going to revisit it and hopefully it can teach people.”

Well known

The first of the nine performances takes place on Saturday March 30 at St Joseph’s Church in Tollcross, Glasgow, with further performances taking place around Glasgow until the finale on April 15.

On April 16, there will be a free event showcasing the art of Scottish actor and artist John Cairney who famously portrayed Robert Burns in a one-man show which toured around the world. It is to be held in Glasgow University’s Memorial Chapel.

“He’s someone our parents’ generation would remember,” Mr Callaghan said.

“He was in lots of films like Jason and the Argonauts, but not many people know he’s an artist as well.

Arts support

“In his later years he decided to go back to art, which is what he did before he became an actor—he tends to specialise in religious art.”

On display will be Mr Cairney’s 15 Stations of the Cross, which portray Jesus in a modern setting.

Mr Callaghan said: “I think, today, the faithful need to seek out every opportunity to celebrate what is beautiful about our Faith, what our Faith is, the Gospel of Jesus, and we need to get back to that and the Sacraments.

“If we don’t support people in the arts in creating things like this then we have, as a community, lost our vision, because if there is no sympathy for the arts there’s going to be a completely pragmatic approach to Faith which strips it of all beauty. Catholics need to support our own artistic projects for that reason.”

Tickets for the play are priced at £5 and can be purchase by calling 0141 552 5527 or at

A limited number of tickets will also be available at the venues.

For information on all Lentfest events, visit

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